"I think I also learned that the social worker can do many things, but is only one piece of the puzzle. The client/patient and their family have to be involved to see a good result"

Role Model Photo Amy Hord

Health Field: Social Worker

Number of years in the profession:
12 year

Years in College: 4 years

Professional Credentials:
Texas Licensed Baccalaureate Social Worker Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work

How did you know this career was what you wanted to do?
I love helping people, networking with other people in my profession.

What other careers did you consider?

What experiences in your life developed your interest in your career?
I became a single mother at nineteen, and a freshman in college. I learned of different resources to help someone like me. I heard about the opportunity to major in social work and I decided I wanted to go into social work to "give back".

What early preparations did you take (in high school and college) to reach your career goal?
Field placement/internship last semester of college with a rural community healthcare system (hospital,nursing home/home health). I also volunteered for a domestic violence shelter while in college and coordinated a fundraiser for a local organization.

What things did you find to be difficult as you prepared for your career?
Finances are an issue for most college students. I also found that it is difficult to get a professional job when you have no experience in that field. I think that proves the importance of experience. I would highly recommend a college student try to find entry level jobs while in college in an area that they are interested in. That lets them at least get their foot in the door and may lead to potential job offers within that company once a degree is obtained. It also allows you to have something to bulk up your resume!

How did you overcome these challenges?
I took a job that most people wouldn't want - but it helped me gain invaluable experience and opened doors to other job opportunities.

Was your family supportive of you through your college (or other training) years?

Did you have a job and work while you were going to college or other training? Yes

Present Career as a Social Worker

Describe an average work day for you.
I do not follow a rigid schedule. I never know what my day will hold. I try to keep myself available so that if a patient comes in that needs assistance, I can go ahead and help them as opposed to holding them to my schedule. When I come in, I typically check email, check for orders from physicians/staff that need consulting on, visit with walk in patients. I do quite a bit of work over the phone, making referrals for patients. I rely on coordination of services with other disciplines, i.e. nursing, pharmacy, lab, etc. I conduct an orientation class for our patients twice a month. I also help with employee morale events, coordinating them as well as brainstorming for new events. I regularly attend various community meetings to stay involved with community impact groups as well as networking.

How many hours do you work in an average week?

What kind of health care setting do you work in?

What do you see as strengths needed for your career?
Good work ethic, ability to work with difficult patients in a polite manner, knowledge of resources and ability to research for resources, compassion for client base, good working relations with outside agencies, confidence in decision making, ability to document for reporting

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I love my job! I love the ability to ability to make decisions and I am trusted with my work. I have some difficult patients, but many of them are kind and appreciative of the help that I offer. I enjoy working with the elderly. I appreciate that I am able to offer ideas that benefit the clinic and those ideas are not only listened to, but many times acted upon.

What advice would you give to those who are interested in your career?
Social work is a very fulfilling job. A great appreciation for life comes when you are serving those in need. Great satisfaction comes when you have helped someone and know that you have made a difference in their life. Every day is not always easy, but I still leave every day appreciating the job I have and look foward to the challenge the next day will hold!

If you could start over, would you still make the same decision to pursue education?
Absolutely! I think social work is what God called me to do.

Do you plan to pursue opportunities for advancement in your career field?
Yes, I am considering a Master's Level degree, which would allow me more opportunities in the future.

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